Once a famous entertainer was asked to appear with a show for the troops. He agreed on condition that he be allowed to leave for his other appointment after a single monologue. He stepped on stage to deliver the monologue, then performed another act, and another. The applause grew steadily. Finally, after half an hour, the entertainer came backstage. Someone asked him, “Didn’t you have to leave after a few minutes?” “Yes, I did have to go. You can see the reason I remained on the front row." There sitting together were two men – one had lost his right arm and the other his left arm so they were clapping together. This kind of teamwork is not just critical to enjoying life, but to maintaining it. For example, on hot days a bee hive will divide its occupants in half. One half will remain at the hive beating their wings to keep the hive cool. The other half will go out and gather pollen for honey. The next day the teams will switch – working together to keep the hive alive. In Colossians 4:7-11 we see some men who worked as a team to do God’s work. Study the passage to be challenged in the way you work with others.
Before reading and studying this passage, humble yourself before the Lord and ask Him to open your eyes to understand and know it.
Read Focus Verses
Read Colossians 4:7-11 and notice the people Paul talks about and what he emphasizes about each of them.
Keyword – Names
Marking the names of each of the people Paul mentions will help each stand out to you.
Mark the name of each person mentioned in Colossians 4:7-11.
How many people are named in this passage?
What is Tychicus going to tell the church in Colosse?
How does Paul describe Tychicus?
Why did Paul send Tychicus to Colosse?
How does Paul introduce Onesimus?
What is Onesimus’ role according to verse 9?
Who is mentioned next in the passage?
How is Aristarchus spoken of?
Who sends greetings through this letter to the church in Colosse?
How were Barnabas and Mark (Markus) related?
What do Aristarchus, Mark, and Justus have in common according to verse 11?
How does Paul describe all of these men in verse 11?
How We Are
Notice that Paul also sends Tychicus to tell the Ephesian church how things are going with him in Ephesians 6:21-22.
Why did Paul send someone to let these Christians know how he was doing?
What kind of man must Tychicus have been for Paul to know he would comfort these believers’ hearts?
Paul also sends Onesimus to bring this report of how things are going. Philemon 1:10-17 gives us an interesting background on his story.
In Your Own Words
In your own words, what is Onesimus’ story?
Read what Acts 19:29 says about Aristarchus.
What do you learn about Aristarchus from Acts 19:29?
Acts 15:37-39 tells us about an interesting period in Paul and Mark’s relationship.
By the time Paul was writing 2 Timothy 4:11, the relationship was very different.
Why is the way Paul speaks of Mark here in Colossians so significant?
Barnabas was one of the first Christians to welcome Paul into the church after his conversion. Read about it in Acts 9:27.
Circumcision was a symbol of the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants. It set Jews apart from Gentiles and was often used to signify a Jewish person as in Ephesians 2:11-13.
Stop to think about what Paul calls these people – his fellow workers.
Origin: from a presumed compound of (4862) and the base of (2041)
- a companion in work, fellow worker
Using the analogy of gardening or farming, Paul speaks of the way Christ’s servants work together in His kingdom in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9.
Who ultimately does 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 teach us that Christians are working together with?
What are Christians working together to do according to Colossians 4?
Read 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 to discover what was the greatest comfort to Paul.
What does it mean that these people Paul mentions in Colossians 4 comforted him?
If you are a Christian, how can you work together with other Christians to build the kingdom of God today?
How can you be a comfort to other Christians this week?
We hope this study has challenged you to team work with others to do God’s work.
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